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Electoral Politics

Let Us Hope the Darkness Has Passed

Arundhati Roy, The Guardian

India's real and virtual worlds have collided in a humiliation of power

For many of us who feel estranged from mainstream politics, there are rare, ephemeral moments of celebration. Today is one of them. When India went to the polls, we were negotiating the dangerous cross-currents of neo-liberalism and neo-fascism — an assault on the poor and minority communities.

None of the pundits and psephologists predicted the results. The rightwing BJP-led coalition has not just been voted out of power, it has been humiliated.

"Experts See Drawbacks to GOP Convention in NY"

Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters

The Republican Party's hope that its convention in New
York would highlight a nation healed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks could
backfire as the White House comes under fire for its handling of the crisis
and the war in Iraq, strategists said on Monday.

President Bush's re-election effort is plagued with questions on whether his
administration could have prevented the attacks, and holding his party's
convention just minutes away from the World Trade Center, where nearly 3,000
people were killed, could make matters worse, they said.

"It was the wrong place to go from the beginning," veteran Republican
political consultant Roger Stone said.

"Nader Scrambles to Collect Thousands of Signatures"

Brian Faler, Washington Post, April 3, 2004

Ralph Nader would like your autograph.

In fact, he needs it. The longtime consumer advocate, who is running
for president as an independent, must collect hundreds of thousands
of signatures from voters across the country to get his name on state
ballots for the Nov. 2 election.

An anonymous coward writes:

"Here's the New Yorker article on Florida, Jeb Bush and etc.;

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040315fa_fa ct

It refers to the murky dealings of Jeb Bush with prominent Miami ex Cubans
and suggests that — Florida being a key state in the coming elections —
the White House cum the governor may try to pull some anti-Cuba demagoguery
stunt to boost the Republican vote in November.

"Antiwar Activism?"

Michael Kranish, Boston Globe

Senator John F. Kerry said through a spokesman this week that he has no recollection of attending a November 1971 meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which some activists discussed a plot to kill some US senators who backed the war.

"Senator Kerry does not remember attending the Kansas City meeting," Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said in a statement to the Globe in response to written questions about the matter. "Kerry does not remember any discussions that you referred to," the statement added, referring to the assassination plot.

The Polls Take a Nosedive: Terror Backlash Hits Bush's Votes

Paul Harris, Guardian, March 28, 2004

The damning testimony of former terrorism adviser Richard Clarke
has left the President's team in disarray as their approval ratings
begin to fall.

Republicans fear the devastating revelations about their failure to see al-Qaeda as an imminent threat before the 11 September terrorist attacks have seriously dented President George Bush's election campaign.

"New Tax Ideas from John Kerry"

Juriaan Bendien

Sitting here in wintry Amsterdam, it looks to me the US tweedle-dee
tweedle-dum elections are really about nothing very much yet, the main
reason being that the federal government is heavily in the hock, and really
cannot deliver very much to voters, except through a radical restructuring
of federal operations, but this is a politically highly charged issue, which
cannot really be tackled before the votes are cast.

This is the problem of politics in the age of futures economics: you have to
build confidence in what you will do in the future, before you can even know
what you will have to do in the future This helps explain the political
commercials trying to convince voters that the election is really about
something else instead, such as terrorism possibilities which might or could

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Kerry vs. Kerry-Lite
Stephen Gowans

Some advice to politically Left Americans. Most of you will cast a vote for John Kerry in November. There's not much doubt about it. And the reason you'll be backing Kerry is (a) you assume nothing could be worse than Bush, (b) the Democrats must be marginally better, because.well, because they're Democrats, (c) pressuring elites doesn't seem to be working and you can't think of anything else to do to stop "Bush's" drive to war, and (d) all those people who keep warning you about lesser evilism, can't seem to come up with anything better. So Kerry's your man. Oh sure, some of you admire Kucinich. Others even think well of Nader. But you know Kerry's going to be your go-to-guy come November.

mobiustrip44 writes:

"Homage to Castilla: 'Appeasement' in Spain"
Julian Sanchez, Reason Magazine

The bodies were barely cold from the attacks of "11-M" in Madrid, the ballots from Sunday's national election barely counted, but American pundits were already competing furiously to heap insult upon injury. The unexpected victory of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) over the more conservative Partido Popular (PP), which had backed the war in Iraq, was widely and roundly denounced as a clear case of capitulation to terror.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Noam Chomsky, "Kerry Over Nader"

Matthew Tempest, Guardian

[Excerpts from an interview published on March 16, 2004.]

On Iraq

There's a lot of focus on the American death toll but personally I think that's partly propaganda exaggeration. Polls have demonstrated time and time again that Americans are willing to accept a high death toll -- although they don't like it, they're willing to accept it -- if they think it's a just cause.


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